30 YOUNG FARMERS 50 YEARS ON
By David Taylor
It was a golden year – 31 students corralled in a lovely old hall to study general agriculture for nine intensive months. Most of us were teenagers. Some, just out of school, were sons and daughters of farmers. Others, like me, were townies fresh from a year of farm work and intent on careers in the countryside.
All of us were young farmers with a future. UK agriculture was burgeoning. Full employment and youthful optimism were replacing post-war austerity. Parlour milking was superseding the cowshed. Buddy Holly was drowning out the big bands. And here we were in the far North of England at Kirkley Hall Farm Institute, Northumberland, where staff numbers were so generous we had almost one-to-one tuition.